“Just the way he works every day. No days off and if he does take a day off, you know it’s something serious. Week in and week out getting double-teamed, triple-teamed, still making plays, incredible catches,” he said.
“I know the bones and the joints are probably aching right now. He’s been here since Eric Dickerson’s been here [laughing]. It’s fun to see him go out there and make plays.”
He shares the same type of admiration for Mathis, who made the tough transition from hand-on-the-ground defensive end to being a stand-up outside linebacker this past offseason.
“The professional that he is just shows the leader and type of player that he is. Everybody was listening about him and Free [Freeney] and how they are going to adapt to this new defense, this new style, standing up,” Bethea said.
“Those guys had a great year. Rob a Pro Bowl selection five years in a row. He’s a great player on and off the field and I’m proud of him.”
For his sake, rookie quarterback Andrew Luck has enjoyed playing, and learning, from Wayne this season.
“I think one, his knack for showing up in big times. Big moments, he controls them. He’s going to make the catch. He’s going to make the play. He’s going to get the first down, the touchdown, whatever you need. He’s going to make the big plays,” Luck said. “Then on top of that, the consistency. Every day in practice, every play on the field. He’s a lot of fun to play with and you learn a lot.
“Offensively, he’s our leader. He’s our guy. We go through him, not just on the field but also how to operate, how to be a professional. He’s sort of our bell cow.”